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this is worth reading. Be sure to read to the end. You will be amazed.



Let's hear it for Costco! (This is just mind-boggling!) Make sure you read all the way past the list of the drugs. The woman that signed below is a Budget Analyst out of federal Washington , DC offices. Did you ever wonder how much it costs a drug company for the active ingredient in prescription, medications? Some people think it must cost a lot, since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet. We did a search of offshore chemical synthesizers that supply the active ingredients found in drugs approved by the FDA. As we have revealed in past issues of Life Extension, a significant percentage of drugs sold in the United States contain active ingredients made in other countries.

In our independent investigation of how much profit drug companies really make, we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used in some of the most popular drugs sold in America .

Celebrex: 100mg Consumer price(100 tablets):$130.27 Cost of general active ingredients: $0.60 Markup:21,712%


Claritin: 10 mg Consumer Price (100 tablets): $215.17 Cost of general active ingredients: $0.71 Markup: 30,306%


Keflex: 250 mg Consumer Price (100 tablets): $157.39 Cost of general active ingredients: $1.88 Markup: 8,372%


Lipitor: 20 mg Consumer Price (100 tablets): $272.37 Cost of general active ingredients: $5.80 Markup: 4,696%


Norvasc: 10 mg Consumer price (100 tablets): $188.29 Cost of active ingredients: $0.14 Markup: 134,493%


Paxil: 20 mg Consumer price (100 tablets): $220.27 Cost of general active ingredients: $7.60 Markup: 2,898%


Prevacid: 30 mg Consumer price (100 tablets): $44.77 cost of general active ingredients: $1.01 Markup: 34,136%


Prilosec : 20 mg Consumer price (100 tablets): $360.97 Cost of general active ingre dients $0.52 Markup: 69,417%


Prozac: 20 mg Consumer price (100 tablets) : $247.47 Cost of active ingredients: $0.11 Markup: 224,973%


Tenormin: 50 mg Consumer price (100 tablets): $104.47 Cost of active ingredients: $0.13 Markup: 80,362%


Vasotec: 10 mg Consumer price (100 tablets): $102.37 Cost of active ingredients: $0.20 Markup: 51,185%


Xanax: 1 mg Consumer price (100 tablets) : $136.79 Cost of active ingredients: $0.024 Markup: 569,958%


Zestril: 20 mg Consumer price (100 tablets) $89.89 Cost of active ingredients $3.20 Markup: 2,809


Zithromax: 600 mg Consumer price (100 tablets): $1,482.19 Cost of active ingredients: $18.78 Markup: 7,892%


Zocor: 40 mg Consumer price (100 tablets): $350.27 Cost of general active ingredients: $8.63 Markup: 4,059%

Zoloft: 50 mg Consumer price: $206.87 Cost of general active ingredients: $1.75 Markup: 11,821%


Since the cost of prescription drugs is so outrageous, I thought everyone should know about this.
It pays to shop around! This helps to solve the mystery as to why they can afford to put a Walgreen's on every corner. On Monday night, Steve Wilson, an investigative reporter for Channel 7 News in Detroit , did a story on generic drug prices gouging by pharmacies. He found in his investigation that some of these generic drugs were marked up as much as 3,000% or more. So often we blame the drug companies for the high cost of drugs and usually rightfully so. But in this case, the fault clearly lies with the pharmacies themselves.

For example if you had to buy a prescription drug, and bought the name brand, you might pay $100 for 100 pills.
The pharmacist might tell you that if you get the generic equivalent, they would only cost $80, making you think you are saving $20. What the pharmacist is not telling you is that those 100 generic pills may have only cost him $10!

At the end of the report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson whether or not there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this practice, and he said that Costco consistently charged little over their cost for the generic drugs.



I went to the Costco site, where you can look up any drug, and get its online price. It says that the in-store prices are consistent with the online prices. I was appalled. Just to give you one example from my own experience I had to use, the drug Compazine which helps prevent nausea in chemo patients.

I used the generic equivalent, which cost $54.99 for 60 pills at CVS. I checked the price at Costco, and I could have bought 100 pills for $19.89. For 145 of my pain pills, I paid $72.57. I could have got 150 at Costco for $28.08.

I would like to mention, that although Costco is a 'membership' type store, you do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there as it is a federally regulated substance. You just tell them at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they will let you in.
I am asking each of you to please help me by copying this letter, and passing it into your own e-mail, and send it to everyone you know with an e-mail address.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/generic.asp Snopes.com confirms this.
Sharon L. Davis
Budget Analyst
U.S. Dep artment of Commerce
Room 6839
Office Ph: 202-482-4458
Office Fax: 202-482-5480
E-mail Address: [email protected]
 

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I'm a chemist, likely to be employed by a pharmaceutical company in the future. Anyways, the active ingredients aren't the entire composition of each pill. For example, a name-brand and a generic pill may have the same active ingredients. But all of the drug testing (which is why many drugs cost so much) is done on the name-brand pill, not the generic. Often, the generic drugs don't work the same or as well. And much of the cost of medicines include: drug testing, quality control, salaries, and money for future drug research. I'm not defending the costs that we get charged, I'm just saying that a lot goes into drug research.

And my father buys his blood pressure medicine from Sam's club (there aren't CostCo's near our home) because he can buy 3 months at a time for less than one month costs at a regular pharmacy.
 

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I don't think anyone is belittling the work that goes into drug research. It's a vital job in our society. But the profits being cashed by big pharm is excessive, and it's at the expense of the sick. That, to me, is unacceptable.
 

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A bit off topic, but the rules are ridiculous, too. I was prescribed Keflex recently, but at a strength of 750 mg. It was going to cost $75!! But, the pharmacist told me if my doctor prescribed 3 dosages of 250 mg, and tripled the amount of pills, it would be covered by my health insurance, and it was. $7.00 How stupid is that?!
 

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I'm glad you posted this! It is truly insane how expensive even the simplest medications can be! I've always bought my Allerclear (Generic for Claritin) and vitamins at Costco!
 

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Steve Wilson, an investigative reporter for Channel 7 News in Detroit , did a story on generic drug prices gouging by pharmacies.
The story was an excellent one, indeed. Shortly after it aired, a couple of retailers, Meijer and Target specifically, began to offer commonly prescribed generic antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin and a couple of other common antibiotic drugs for 5 bucks, to the public, if they were prescribed for children. Plenty of people in our area applauded those retailer's efforts. I know they were talking about taking it nationwide, but don't know if that ever happened. I'm not sure if they still offer that same deal or not, but at the time, it made those retail pharmacies look good to the paying public.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have read many times how the drug companies pay out far more on advertising than they ever do on R&D. If you have any doubt, try counting the bazillion TV and print advertisements you've seen for E/D meds like Viagra!

Here's just one of many websites verifying what has become common knowledge about drug companies: http://www.actupny.org/reports/drugcosts.html

Another thing..........why is it that the highest drug prices in the whole world are here in the U.S.? Anyone??
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Found this quote from Reuters:

"The highest (drug) prices in the world.'"
Drug companies charge outrageous prices to cover, as they claim, the
cost of research and development of new drugs. But, Michigan
Democratic Senator, Deborah Stabenow, noted: "Drug companies get a tax break for research and development costs, and also get to use, for
free, the results of basic research done at taxpayer expense by the
National Institutes of Health. 'They get the write-off. Then we give
them a 20-year patent,' Stabenow said. 'We protect them from
competition for 20 years. And what do we get in the end, the American
taxpayers? The highest (drug) prices in the world.'" (Reuters
7/18/02)

"Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is
never enough."
--- Janwillem van de Wetering
 

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I'm sickened by the price of medications and I'm on the selling side.

I've been put in charge of keeping track and inputting all of the inventory in our clinic. The doctor sets the prices though.

We mark up some medications upwards of 300% of what it costs us, in addition to a hefty dispensing fee. I understand the concept of the dispensing fee. Its to cover the cost of the label, the bottle, the tech time of counting (and splitting, if needed) the pills, going over medications etc. But the markup? Its insane.

Some medications cost us close to nothing, while others are really expensive. I personally think the markup should be even... but the cheaper a medication is, the most we charge for it.

And what's worse? My vet is horrible offended when someone scoffs at the price and demands a written prescription to find them online.

Even worse? She recently purchased this clinic. The clients are used to buying 100 count (3 month supplies) of things like Thyroid medication, certain heart medications, etc. All of them are pretty cheap. My vet doesn't want to do that though - she only wants to send out 30 day supplies. So they have to pay a dispensing fee every month... and at $12 per medication per refill... that's at least an extra $24 every 3 months on medications that cost us pennies each.

And while I'm not going to complain about free lunch... every time we come across a new medication, be it flea and tick preventative, glucosamine suppliements or whatever the repts come out and buy us lunch and talk to us about why the medication is so much better than the competition. Then we get free posters, pens, notepads, and (at least from IAMS) things like duffel bags, beach towels, coffee cups, stuffed dog toys all with the logo on them. I can only imagine how much they spend on "lunch and learns" in addition to commercials and other advertising...
 

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My vet charges my parents $5 for a script for their dog's heartworm medicine so they can fill it online. Sadly, even with that extra $5, it's still cheaper online.

And everything is marked up. I doubt anyone wants to see the markup on a can of soup or a box of rice pilaf ...

Oh, and many of the large stores now are doing that $3/4/5 prescriptions for things like antibiotics, generic anti depressants, and a lot of other meds. Something like 100 different meds. I don't take any of those, although it's nice to go to like Walmart and get your ammoxicillin for less than the co-pay.

And for anyone who actually has insurance and access to what the insurance companies agree to pay, that's absurd. For example, I take this one medicine that, in generic form, for a month's worth, if I pay for it out of my pocket without insurance costs almost $90. With my insurance, it costs me a $10 co-pay. The insurance company agrees to pay the pharmacy $13, or $3 additional to my co-pay. That's nuts!
 
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